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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Us 23, America 18, Chuck Hagel 17, U.s. 11, Benghazi 10, Hagel 10, Obama 9, Connecticut 9, Washington 8, Cnn 8, Adam Lanza 7, United States 7, Charlotte 6, Lisa 6, Scott Brown 6, John Mccain 5, Clinton 5, Susan Rice 5, Osama Bin 5, At&t 5,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    December 20, 2012
    1:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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pictures, someone has seen them and can share information that leads to these two. >> they are pretty creative. we have pictures of how they escaped. they stacked clothes and sheets to make it look like they were in bed. they grabbed the sheets, tied together -- you see here this rope -- this is a rope of sheets and squeezed through a five-inch window and rappelled down five stories. that is a fraction of the money that they have believed to have squirrelled away. with that, thank you for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin here in atlanta. time to go, as we always do, to washington. "the situation room" with wolf blitzer begins right now. hey, wolf. >> hi, brooke. thanks very much. happening now, the connecticut shooting investigation appears to be moving into a new phase at one crime scene.
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stand by. a blizzard, rain, and high winds. a winter storm is on the move and holiday travel potentially could be taking a big hit. information you need to know. and a new hollywood film about the hunt for osama bin laden is getting a terrible review from three united states senators. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." right now, the house of representatives is getting closer to a showdown vote on the house speaker's plan to avoid that so-called fiscal cliff. it's a high stakes bargaining chip in the negotiations with president obama and it comes only 12 days before automatic tax hikes and spending cuts go into effect. that could take a painful toll on the u.s. economy. let's go to capitol hill. our senior congressional
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correspondent dana bash is standing by with the latest. dana? >> reporter: well, wolf, the vote that the speaker calls plan b is about an hour away. we're told that republican leaders at this hour are still twisting arms, republican arms to make sure that this passes. there's a weird sense here, a weird atmosphere that things are moving fast but stalled at the same time. the fiscal cliff impasse is so surreal, democrats are resorting to movie analogies, calling republicans thelma and louise. >> rather than face the reality of what lies ahead, they hit the gas. that's what we're hearing from speaker boehner now. >> reporter: don't blame us, say the republicans, it's the president. >> he's doing everything within his power to take us over the cliff and he is set on dividing us. >> reporter: adding to the sense that congress is in an alternate universe, instead of negotiating to avert the fiscal cliff, the
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house will vote on the gop plan b, a bill to keep tax rates in place for households making less than $1 million. senate democrats call it dead on arrival. >> house republicans know that the bill has no future if they don't know it now, tell them what i said. >> reporter: senator majority harry reid said, if they don't know, tell them what i said. >> i talked to senator reid this morning. he was more polite then. i am not convinced at all that when the bill passes in the house today that it will die in the senate. >> democrats say the house speaker is in denial. the truth is, the speaker is well aware of political reality. if the country careens off the fiscal cliff and every american's taxes go up, republicans will take much of the heat. that's a key are reason he's holding tonight's vote. >> our bill will protect 99.81% of american people from an
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increase in taxes. >> reporter: a republican lawmaker with knowledge of leadership talks and of strategy says that there's another reason why they are holding this vote tonight and that is an internal republican reason, to try to prove to republican rank-and-file lawmakers to give them a reality check, to prove that the votes won't be there ultimately to pass even this, taxes -- keeping where the taxes are for millionaires in the senate and will give the speaker more running room if he does in fact go back to talks with the speaker and the president. he hopes to resume talks which have been stalled since monday with the president. >> so in the meantime, dana, everyone getting out of dodge, everyone getting out of washington, d.c., for christmas? >> reporter: when it comes to the senate, yes. they are probably going to be out of session either tonight or tomorrow and not coming back until the thursday after christmas. when it comes to the house, they say that they are going to be in
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session tomorrow and, most importantly, the speak are is likely to be here in town and the president has said that he's not going to go on his trip to hawaii, likely as long as he has somebody to negotiate with. we'll see what happens with this weekend. it doesn't sound like at least the key players are going anywhere. >> we'll see if there will be a christmas miracle. that would be nice, wouldn't it? elsewhere on capitol hill, top state officials are promising congress that they will improve security at diplomatic posts around the world, in some cases by the end of the year. hearings are being held today on the deadly of the attack on benghazi, libya. arguing whether more money would help keep american diplomats safe. >> if the state department intends to blame it is long string of failures on inadequate funding, then perhaps it should take a closer look at the money that is being lavished on global climate change, culinary diplomacy programs and other favored projects.
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in money could have been used for providing diplomatic security, including hiring additional personnel and providing them with adequate equipment and training. >> we're joined now by elise labott who covered all of these hearings. so what did you come away with? >> a couple of things, wolf. it's widely politicized. you heard elana. she doesn't even accept the report. she says the state department can't review itself because of its failures noted by the panel and she's looking for secretary of state clinton to testify in january. i also think that the state department officials, bill burns really contrite, what else can you do, wolf, with such a scathing report other than to say we know we can do better and
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we will. >> senator john kerry uttered some nice words and then recused himself, didn't ask any questions because everybody knows the president is going to nominate him to be the next secretary of state. >> that's right. and he was already talking like a secretary of state. he said that the department really -- this is a step forward in term of dealing with security and thinks it is going to be very helpful. and then listen to what he said about where he thinks the blame should also lie. >> congress also bears some responsibility here. congress has the power of the purse. we use it for any number of things. but it's our responsibility. and for years we have asked our state department to operate with increasingly lesser resources to conduct these missions and because of the gridlock and excesses in the senate and congress itself, we have not even been able to pursue the regular order of authorizing
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legislation. that must change. and in the next session of the congress, i hope it will. >> so, wolf, when it comes back to the senate of foreign relations committee for his own confirmation hearings, i think he's making it pretty clear he's going to be asking for more money for state department security. >> and if the president nominates him, we think he will, if confirmed, we think he will be confirmed, you're right, sounding like the secretary of state. that will give us a preview of what his priorities will be. in other news, including the newtown school massacre, the cycle of funerals and grief sends endless. three more children and three teachers were laid to rest today, including the principal, dawn hochsprung. and one more burial we're learning more about, adam
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lanza's first victim. deborah fay rec deborah feyerick is monitoring that. >> reporter: nancy lanza was lay i had to rest today. the chief of police, a close friend of the family, grew up with nancy and her brother who was on the police force, the chief is telling us that in fact there was a private service for family only. they didn't even invite friends. it was a very small service at an undisclosed location. she was buried. in fact, adam was not buried with her. that's still in discussion. if that happens, if he joins his mother at some point, it's not going to be for many months. but the mother, as you say, his first victim, she was buried today. this is the home where she died. shot four times in the head by her son. this, wolf, came after she had been away for three days. when she returned home thursday, the first victim friday morning
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was nancy lanza. she was laid to rest today. >> what else are you hearing about the investigation? >> reporter: well, there are about a dozen detectives and others from the major crime squad today. they have been aggressively combing through this home. they are processing the crime scene. they were here since monday. they pulled out just before lunch today. they are done. they have gone through documents, files, anything that they could get their hands on. they would not confirm whether there were any video games and if so what they were. detective vance says that they are done for now. the house is still remaining in the possession of the police department. if they uncover more evidence that leads to this home, then they will come back. but for now they are done. >> deborah feyerick, thank you. the vice president, joe biden, by the way, has started his new assignment of coming up with gun
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proposals in response to the newtown shooting. he met with cabinet leaders at the white house. eric holder took part in that before flying to connecticut to meet with officials there. more on the ability to crack down on gun violence. that's coming up shortly. a winter storm is causing flight cancellations, delays, and other travel nightmares. we're going to show where you it's heading. and lauren rousseau is remembered by the love of her life. stand by for that loving interview. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance. hurry. bonus cash ends january 2nd.
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poppy harlow spoke with one of the boyfriends of one of the victims buried today, lauren rousseau. tomorrow morning, 9:30 a.m. eastern, poppy. >> reporter: absolutely, wolf. i mean, this community is still reeling. they are really living minute by minute here trying to get by. lauren rousseau, this beautiful young woman, 30 years old, told her mother that she had wanted to be a teacher since before she was even in kindergarten. she got to live out that dream but her life was cut far too short. >> this says, me, since i've been with you. thanks for rubbing off on me. >> reporter: 30 and in love, tony and lauren rousseau. do you remember the moment that you were in love with her? >> yes. like right -- the first date i had with her i knew. >> reporter: at a wine bar where
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they shared their first kiss. lauren called him lof vee and he called her busy bee, not a mean bone in her body. >> she didn't like to honk to people because she thought it would be mean. tony, this card made me think of you. bananas. >> reporter: the silly photos taken at a friend's wedding exactly two months before lauren died. >> this is the second try. there was a first one where she -- i don't have a funny face. >> reporter: they just celebrated one year of dating in november. >> i'm glad that i had a really good relationship for a year instead of a relationship that had fights for a years. >> reporter: the same month she became a permanent teacher at sandy hook elementary. >> she was thrilled and loved to tell me what she was doing that week. we're doing this, doing that, and sent tons of pictures that
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the kids created that day. >> reporter: they were planning to see "the hobbit" friday night but the last text that he got from lauren was at 8:58 a. be m. >> it doesn't seem real. it doesn't seem permanent and finite. >> reporter: do you think you might see her again? >> i'm convinced that i'll see her again. i have like a little squish pillow, a little pillow for your head that she had that smells like her. it smells like her perfumes and stuff. >> reporter: and it still does? >> yeah. when i wake up in the morning i can smell my girlfriend's perfume and it makes me cry. >> reporter: the love of her life is how the owe pitch rather describes tony. >> i oent only got one year with her. it's kind of bad to say, but i'm jealous of her friends that got more than one year. all i got was one. but it was a really good year.
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>> reporter: you hugged president obama when he was here sunday night. >> yeah. but i want a hug from lauren, you know. and i'm not going to get that. >> reporter: i know. it's this song they both loved and this song that will always remind tony of his lauren. ♪ the way you say good morning >> i want the world to know that lauren was a great person. she touched the lives of everyone she ever met, even if you only met her once, you liked her. she was a great person and she didn't deserve this. no one deserved this. >> reporter: poppy harlow, cnn, new york. >> what a story. people all over the nation are being asked to observe a moment of silence for the shooting victims tomorrow morning, once again, including on the internet. a silicon valley investor is asking websites across the country to go dark tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. that's exactly one week after
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that massacre at the elementary school. other news we're following, including a powerful winter storm. it's blasting the midwest where the season's first blizzard is bringing life to a standstill and may be stranding thousands of early holiday travelers.
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blinding snow, power outages and conditions getting worse. winter has arrived in the midwest. the blizzard is blamed for a 30-car pileup near ft. dodge, iowa. two people are dead. the storm is he cexpected to du another foot of snow in some
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areas before it is done. it looks like it's wet there. it's going to start snowing at tomorrow point, ted, and there will be a lot of flight cancellations at o'hare that could cause disruptions at other places as well? >> reporter: yes, we've already received a lot of flight cancellations here at o'hare and other places as well. 150 flights here have been canceled, most of them on united. it's raining right now but they are expecting that this will turn to snow and things will get much, much worse in the coming hours. inside the airport, it's clogging up with people who are traveling and those who are not because they have either had a delay or a cancellation. most of these people in line here will likely get to their destination because most flights have not been canceled. however, brandon here who just found out his flight to salt lake city is canceled. you're trying to get home for the holidays. it doesn't look like that's
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going to happen, at least for a couple of days. >> yeah, they said it's a two-day wait in phoenix. >> reporter: the problem, of course, wolf, you lose the first flight and it's a backlog and then all of the flights the next days, those are all packed. he has to go to phoenix for a few days and then hoping to go to salt lake city to be with his family. his story is going to be replicated across the country over the next few hours. brandon is coming from georgia where he's serving there. he's on his leave. unfortunately, he's spending two days of his leave at o'hare. or at least phoenix. hopefully you will get home. >> i'm going to try. yeah. >> reporter: wolf, this is one case but this -- like i said, it's going to be replicated across the country today because of this vicious storm that is about to hit chicago. >> what do they expect? how many inches of snow are they bracing for? are. >> reporter: they are looking at
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four inches here in chicago. north, however, it goes up exponentially. in wisconsin, they've had 6 to 12. detroit, minneapolis, both airport have been hammered with closings and flight cancellations. you look at the board, many cities have cancellations. again, once it hits chicago which, of course, is a hub, that will serve a ripple effect across the country zee we'll be bracing for that. ted, thank you. syria may be losing a long-time alley. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. what is going on? >> support for bashar al assad seems to be waning. president putin says that moscow's goal is not to cling to power at all costs. he supports a solution that stops the civil war. he also said russia is not concerned about assad's fate. south korea's president elect is pledging to, quote, take care of our people one by one.
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park geun-hye will take office in february. park is the first woman ever elected to lead south korea. nasenate republicans want t slash it in half, a $60 billion bill to rebuild after hurricane san deech sandy. critics are saying that there really projects unrelated to the october storm. democrats want the package to clear congress before the end of the year. and as we all know, wolf, congress has a lot on its plate right now. >> certainly it does. lisa, thank you. the shooting in connecticut has set wheels in motion on gun control and should the laws be changed. some minds are changing and the obama administration is now tackling the issue. >> the president is absolutely
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weapons ban thinking that others would follow suit but they are not and as a result i support a federal assault weapons ban. david, are a bunch of republicans now coming around on this because of newtown? >> i don't know that a bunch of republicans are. it's more of the ghost of the republican party. remember when the brady bill passed, there were 80 votes in congress. but that is the northeastern and midwestern and suburban republican party that by and large doesn't exist anymore. democrats hold those seats. but those voters are still there even if the members are not. >> you think that this is really going to get off the ground when the vice president has been assigned within a month to come up with new recommendations for federal legislation? do they have the votes in house of representatives which is the majority of republicans, do they have the votes to get it done? >> well, they probably don't have the votes today. it will be interesting to see what the nra who is going to be making press announcements tomorrow start to say and
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whether they start letting some members off the hook on assault weapons bans. i don't know if they will, but i can tell you this. the nra has four million members. you know, the campaigns like mayors against illegal guns and others, within a few weeks they are going to have four million members. this is just not going to be tolerated in the same way anymore. and senators like scott brown may end up being kind of the first test on this. he made that crafty statement because he opposed a federal bill in the past. >> you mean the state should have the responsibility. >> right. but he knew as a senator that it was never going to pass. he was the number one recipient of nra money in his campaign over this last year. a lot of senators are going to find themselves in the cross hairs because of taking all of that money and when he comes back to -- tries to come back to the senate, that may very well be a big issue. >> like joe manchin, the senator
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from west virginia, he's apparently ready to take some steps. the three steps the president laid out yesterday, i think he wants to do an assault weapons ban, for example, high capacity ammunition clips and tightens the laws as far as background checks. you can go to a gun show, for example, and buy a gun without a background check. >> you want to do something that burdens law abiding citizens while achieving the outcome. >> there were so many loopholes? >> it's impossible for them not to be. you end up describing weapons may not have certain characteristics. >> that would be clever enough to come up with language that will meet that requirement. >> whatever you say the gun maker can't make, the gun maker says, right, we can't make that. we'll make this other thing. the magazine rule i think is powerful but the background check, you want to be looking at who gets the guns more than anything he will. that will have the most impact. 40% of the guns sold in this country are sold without a background check. nobody can justify that.
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>> also, i think the bully pulpit matters here. that's why the president, vice president, other civic leaders and parents coming together very aggressively on manufacturers. you know, we shame the tobacco manufacturers to a huge amount of voluntary measures. there's no reason we're going to be fighting a definitional fight if they are going to be trying to be the good guys that they say that they are, only caring about hunting. >> a lot of republicans, by the way, are feeling pretty confident that scott brown has a good chance of winning the special election in mayor june, whenever that is going to take place whoch place. who is going to be the democratic challenger? >> i don't know. >> congressman ed murphy, for example. >> i think democrats are going to coalesce and focus on a candidate. i wouldn't be surprised to see
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the president and the vice president and bill clinton and michelle obama in the district. they are not going to let this race slide the way they did last time with scott brown. this is no walk for him. this is going to be a tough race. >> massachusetts has too many democrats and not enough jobs for all of them. so while democrats often want to be united, they find it difficult because an opportunity like this comes along in a politician's career not very often sdplen we learned today that cory booker is not going to challenge chris christie in his bid for re-election next year. he said, i will complete my full term as mayor. as for my political future, i will explore the possibility of running for united states senate in 2014. during my lifetime, senator lautenberg has been one of new jersey's important leaders. it would be a privilege to continue his great service. sounds like he wants to run for
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senate. >> assuming frank lautenberg doesn't. >> he's 90. >> i was born in new york. there is a soft part in my heart. cory booker, if he runs for nate senate, i think that's a good choice. i think chris christie can be beaten. >> by who? >> i have no idea but a lot of people think he's not as vulnerable as is he. >> beginning in the clinton area, we saw a reconstitution of the democrats with the election of rudy giuliani and christie todd whit enas governor of new jersey. if scott brown were to be re-elected, if chris christie were to be re-elected and we could hope for progress in congressional level and like a local level, a reconstitution of the part that needs republican
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representation. >> dreaming of ben affleck as a gubernatorial candidate. is that at all realistic? >> it doesn't feel like it. there are too many experienced politicians that will elbow him out. i think david raises a really important point and this gun issue may end up coal lessing that. which is, we just don't have any republicans willing to work with democrats anymore. i don't think scott brown has shown that propensity. chris christie has, though. >> ben affleck was testifying about congo. wasn't there another actor who once got into politics and did okay? >> there are a lot of others that didn't do so well. and in general, one of the problems that happens is they are used being the star and how
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incredibly it is and how thankless it is for the rest of the time. >> and ben affleck is a serious. >> very serious. guys, thanks very much. a major aircraft manufacturer comes up with a novel way to test cell phone use on its plane. it can test subjects -- test subjects can be found, of all places, including in the produce i'll. i always wait until the last minute.
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. many of us like to use our computers or other electronics in flight but new testing is under way to try to improve our internet connection right now. wait until you hear how these tests are being conducted.
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sounds sort of bizarre. kate bolduan is here. bizarre? yeah. >> i think that's a very good use ij of bizarre. aircraft engineers needed something to fill in for humans while they developed a test to test for wirele equipment on planes and strangely enough, they found it in the produce aisle. potatoes, 20,000 pounds of them, in fact, were piled into this decommissioned plane in arizona. >> potatoes have properties in the way that they interact with the radio frequency waves and they were quite cheap, stayed still and you could, with sacks of potato, build semihuman forms in the seats. >> the goal was to design a better way to test wireless signals, like wi-fi, in aircraft. >> what you want to do is design the system so that you get the best signal coverage throughout
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the airplane. >> this graphic shows the signal strength inside the lab. the benefit of this potato project, cutting down their testing time from weeks to just hours. >> it's not only just wi-fi that we can use that test technique for. it's other technologies, cell phones, bluetooth, headsets. >> the fcc has banned cell phone use on the flights but planes are equipped with on-board cell phone systems outside of the u.s. emirates has let passengers talk on their phones for nearly five years. >> we were kind of surprised because people said, why did it take so long. now if they get on a plane that isn't equipped, they tend to complain. >> carriers around the world that do allow cell phone use in flight have not reported any problems. delta airlines, the only u.s. carrier to respond to the study, called for allowing in-flight
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texting on planes but not calls where 64% of passengers said talking on cell phones would hurt their in-flight experience. boeing says with the help of these spuds, it's figured out an even better way to make sure it works and is safe. as for those 20,000 pounds of potatoes after their very fine service, they were shipped off to a food bank and the next time potatoes are going to be loaded into a boeing jet, it will likely be part of the in-flight meal. engineers say this was a once in a career kind of project. you're wondering if not humans, why not just use mannequins for this kind of a testing? they say those mannequins were more expensive and the composition of potatoes, wolf, was actually more like a human than a mannequin in this scenario. >> i believe that. >> i don't know if i do, but -- >> but they have a future of a
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french fry. >> maybe that's why we love french fries so much. >> maybe. thank you. interesting stuff. a week after the newtown elementary school killings, washington is getting to work on new gun control initiatives. in the next hour, we're taking a closer look at what the white house has on the agenda. and a new movie has some lawmakers on capitol hill fuming. up next, the controversy over "zero dark thirty." it's got live tiles so all my stuff's always right there in real-time. it's like the ultimate personal assistant. but i'm me, and me needs handlers. so i hired todd to handle it for me. todd, gimme that hollywood news! what's happening on twitter? you're trending! yes! you can't have a todd, but you can have your own personal assistant. i guess you could call it todd. [ male announcer ] the new nokia lumia 920 with live tiles that deliver what you want in real time. only from at&t. rethink possible.
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a new hollywood film. >> reporter: is being panned not by critics but by three united states senators. it hasn't even been released nationwide yet but you can get a hint at why it's controversial
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from the trailer. >> can i be honest with you? i have bad news. i'm not your friend. i'm not going to help you. i am going to break you. any questions? >> all right. let's bring in our entertainment reporter nischelle turner. senators are angry right now. give us the background. >> wolf, basically, from its inception "zero dark thirty" has been part of controversy. senators are taking issue with some specific scenes. this includes dianne feinstein, carl levin as well as republican john mccain whose own experiences as a p.o.w. in
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vietnam has made him an out spoken critic of torture. the torture seens, and there are more than one, show waterboarding, humiliating detainees and it results in crucial information in the search for osama bin laden. now, i would not say that the film actually glorifies torture but the cia operatives are not squeamish about what they are doing at any point. but there is a point where a cia operative complains about it. the senators say that "zero dark thirty" is perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. a classified report called coercive negotiations didn't result in the capture of osama
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bin laden. they said, "zero dark thirty" is factually inaccurate and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for osama bin laden is not based on the facts but rather part of the film's narrative. sony claims that they have never document classified this as a documentary. they said, this was a tenure intelligence operation brought to the screen in a 2 1/2 hour screen. intelligence methods that were used in the name of finding bin laden. in that mouthful, wolf frk they are saying this is not a documentary and we've never said it's a documentary. it's a movie based on factual facts of an event happening. >> interesting that the three senators wrote the letter to sony and carl levin, dianne feinstein, the chair of the intelligence committee, and senator john mccain.
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nischelle, thank you very much for that report. i'll be speaking live with senator mccain about his concerns about this film. he's going to join us right at the top of our 6:00 p.m. eastern hour in "the situation room." congress bids farewell to one of its own. that is one of the story that lisa sylvester is monitoring. lisa, what is going on? >> house speaker called it a quiet ceremony for a quiet man as they honored the late senator inouye. he represented hawaii for 53 years and was the second longest serving senator in history. buying the parent company of the new york stock exchange, nyse, euro next has agreed to be purchased by international exchange for $8.2 billion in
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stock and cash. the deal was announced today. the exchange was created just 12 years ago. the combined company will have dual headquarters in new york and atlanta. buyer card beware. a survey says all eight of the popular bank-issued cards charge purchase fees of nearly 7 dwl$7. only a few of the retail cards charge them and after a year the maintenance fees can begin eating away at the balance of the cards that go unused. the moral, bottom line, if you do get a gift card, you should spend it. you should actually use it and i know a lot of people, they are very, very popular this time of year, people stash it in a desk or drawer, don't know where it is, and it goes unused. use those gift cards. >> good for the companies. we get to pocket the money for nothing. >> yes, it's something. it's tremendously popular, as
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you know. everyone wants to give a gift card because it's easy. >> lisa, thank you. whether or not the world comes to an end tomorrow, guess what, i'm betting it won't. there's a small village inn mexico making tons of money on the doomsday speculation. we're going there. smoothes, lifts, defies? red jars are all the same right? wrong! you need three uses of a $15 cream to equal the moisturizing power of one use of regenerist microsculpting cream. seems not all red jars are created equal. olay regenerist. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny.
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. i'm planning to be here tomorrow but as you've probably heard by now, some people believe the world will come to an end on friday. it's all based on the ancient mayan calendar and it's proving to be profitable for a village inn mexico. here is cnn's nick parker. >> reporter: wolf, people are
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crowding this ancient archaeologist site. tomorrow, the end of the mayan calendar. and it's a money spender for the mexican government. surging crowd of tourists, countdown clocks in airports around the country. all part of an international marketing campaign, get around one date. this is one of the most iconic sites in mayan culture. it was built more than a thousand years ago but it's attracted more than 50 million tourists to southeast mexico in the last year alone. >> you're here near to a date that's going to be a big deal to a lot of people. i think it's very interesting. >> before we came, i thought according to the mayans that it's the end of the world. >> reporter: films like 2012 have helped spread the idea of an apocolypse.
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mexico launched a campaign to capitalize on global speculation. it was the brain child of gloria guevara. >> some people believe it's the end of the world and we believe and the mayans believe it's the beginning of a new era. you have to come to mexico to discover what is it. >> reporter: also seeing the calendar as an opportunity, he opened a boutique hotel to the closest town. >> tour operators are being creative. we can tell there's a lot of expectation. a few hotels in towns are giving discounts because it's the end of the world. >> reporter: some mchl ayans have complained about the expectation of their culture. >> they are very happy. they see the benefit because the nice thing about the tourism is that it shares the benefit with everyone.
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>> reporter: others disagree. alfonso runs tour are rifts in this mayan community and says the tourist dollars are going elsewhere. >> most of the money is spent in transportation and they don't owe taxes, hotels, restaurants. here they don't have those services yet. >> reporter: yet may be the word. they have sold out ahead of the date. the hope is that interest in the culture is long term. assuming everybody survives december the 21st. wolf, one static stat tis stick to throw at you, they've generated some $50 billion in mexico. wolf? >> nick parker, thank you. and you're in "the situation room." happening now, newtown gunman adam lanza's computer smashed and severely damaging the hard drive. how authorities may be trying to
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salvage what could be critical information. also, vice president joe biden kicks off the effort to crack down on gun violence. i'm quoting him now, we will take action." >> as many as 100 million u.s. taxpayers could be facing serious delays if the country goes over the fiscal cliff. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." wakes and funerals, we can't even figure out which ones to go to. there are so many that we have to divide and conquer. >> chilling words to describe the grief that's become familiar
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in newtown, connecticut. three 6-year-olds, two teachers, and the principal all laid to rest. and we've learned that the mother of the gunman, nancy lanza, has been buried at an undisclosed location in new hampshire. tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. eastern, church bells will toll across the region marking exactly one week since the horrifying shooting massacre occurred. all of this resonating right here in washington and get to work on this sensitive issue. >> reporter: wolf, there are signs of life that the administration has pushed for gun legislation, legislation fighting all of the gun violence in this nation, an issue that was politically dead throughout the administration's first term. the vice president is promising to take swift action, moving gun
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laws and mental health poll teas at warp speed. >> the president is absolutely committed to keeping his promise that we will act and we will act in a way that is designed, even if he says we could only save one life, we have to take action. >> reporter: it was the first meeting of the biden working group. tasked with making recommendations to the president in january. and it's filled with administration heavy hitters. attorney general eric holder, focus, gun policy and background checks. health and human services, kathleen sebelius, national mental health issues. janet napolitano, emergency response, and education's arnie duncan, school readiness and childhood mental health. the white house says they are tackling a complex problem. but injury prevention expert, matt miller, says the cause is clear. >> what makes the united states exceptional in the number of
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people who die violent deaths is not that we are a culture more violent than other high-end cultures, we're not. what makes us exceptional is the fact that when we act violently, we're much more likely to do so with guns and, therefore, we're much more likely to kill people when we act violently. >> reporter: sources tell cnn, the national rifle associations. nation's largest gun lobby, is not currently working with the white house. silent since the shooting, the group plans a press conference friday. >> everyone in america has a stake in doing something to end the discourage of gun violence in this country. >> reporter: vice president biden won a hard-fought battle to pass the first assault weapons ban as part of the 1994 crime bill and during the 2008 campaign, he spoke passionately about gun violence.
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>> we should be working with law enforcement right now to make sure that we protect people against people who don't -- are not capable of knowing what to do with a gun because they are either mentally imbalanced and/or because they have a criminal record. >> reporter: wolf, today the biden group met with law enforcement officials and notably these are the same people who helped push the 1994 crime bill over the finish line. but you could expect that in the future they will meet with mental health experts, perhaps school officials, educators, and other policy experts. keep in mind, they don't have a lot of time to get their policy recommendations into the oval office. the president wants these by next month. wolf? >> he clearly has been visibly shaken by what happened almost a week ago in newtown, connecticut. you can see it when he was there and you can see it in his remarks yesterday. this is going to be a high priority for his administration in the second term, isn't it? >> reporter: he has made it
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clear that this is a high priority. one of the challenges is, in interviewing come of the experts, some of the gun policies are clearer steps to take. when it comes to mental health issues and some of these culture of violence issues, the science and data is more confusing about whether there are clear steps and what the policy would be. that would be a bigger challenge, wolf. >> jessica, thank you. the people of newtown, connecticut, have endured nearly a week of unimaginable pain. for many, this could be a very, very long emotional healing process. many of them will never be able to be completely healed. sandra endo is in newtown. she's joining us with more on this part of the story. such a sad story indeed, sandra. what is going on now? >> reporter: wolf, tomorrow the governor of connecticut has designated a day of mourning and really that is just a format. this has been a long, painful week for newtown.
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26 christmas trees. one for each victim of sandy hook elementary, representing the lives lost and church bells will toll on friday. >> how many times? >> we're going to be bringing it 28 times. we recognize that there 28 lives lost. and that in our faith, god mourns for everyone. >> reporter: i know part of the faith is about for givigiving. is it too soon to forgive? >> i think for some people it is too soon and for some people they need to go through that process. first of all, grieving and mourning, before there's even room for forgiveness. >> reporter: in newtown, symbols of the holiday season mixed with signs of unimaginable sadness.
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young woman collect donations and hand out coffee and donuts. >> the people that come in really need it and it's heart warming. >> reporter: but after a week, the wounds are still so fresh. for many, it's impossible to count to 28. >> there is light in the midst of what seems like unimaginable grief and sorrow and on this journey towards healing, there is a healing path. >> reporter: and that journey will take a lot of time here in nooun. at 9:30, bells will toll and churches will be open to find comfort and support for residents here and the pastor we spoke with says his congregation
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has doubled in size since the tragedy and he's seen a steady stream of people come through the church throughout the day just to pray. wolf? >> it doesn't get any easier for these people out there, including all of the folks just walking around where you are, does it, sandy? >> reporter: no, it doesn't, wolf. every day is very painful. you can see the grief in so many people's faces. what we do notice, though, so many more people from out of town coming in here, just to show their condolences and support for the residents here in newtown. >> sandy endo reporting for us. thank you. almost one week into this horrifying tragedy, authorities are still working to determine a motive. they are hoping a computer seized from adam lanza's home could reveal some answers if, if the information on it can be salvaged. let's bring in cnn's mary snow. what's the latest, mary? >> reporter: wolf, investigators
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have indicated that a computer was smashed with extensive damage to the hard drive and they are working to retrieve that data. and to get an idea of what's involved, we visited a company that specializes in data recovery. it has no firsthand knowledge of the newtown, connecticut investigation. but it has worked on cases where hard drives were badly damaged and key information was not los lost: in the weeks since hurricane sandy hit, this company has been trying to recover hard drives inundated by water. can you recover anything from this? >> yes, we can. it seems unrealistic to a lot of people, but we can recover it, yes. >> reporter: michael says the company has salvaged data from hard drives destroyed on 9/11 and buildings surrounding the world trade center, hurricane katrina, and the columbia disaster in 2003. that painstaking work is done in
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a room like this called a clean room. >> only on need to know basis have access in here. >> reporter: engineers reconstruct hard drives like this one that can sustain serious damage. these disks or platters are found inside. >> there are layers. it's like a cake. you damage the top, the bottom is still good. >> reporter: while he has no firsthand knowledge on what investigators are finding, he says recovering data depends on how badly the disks inside are damaged. >> if some of them are smashed and some are them are in tact, we can get data out of the ones that are in tact. there are cases that we have done in the past, that out of four disks that are inside the hard drive, we were able to recover one and that would be tremendous help for the customer and the investigators in this case. >> reporter: but physical restoration has its limits. eric, with the company's
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forensic crime lab, says if the hard drive is erased or written over before it is destroyed, data cannot be retrieved. reform matting a hard drive is something different. >> if somebody reform mats it, that we can actually recover. >> reporter: now, the company's most difficult job, it says, was reconstructing that hard drive from the space shuttle "columbia." we were told it came in a pile of rubble and that almost all of the data was recovered. wolf? >> approximately how long do you think it might take? >> you know, in the case of the shuttle, that hard drive that we're talking about, the company said it was done within weeks. what they do is reconstruct these hard drives, take them apart piece by piece. they have to clean them with chemical solutions and treat them and then reconstruct them. but it can be done within weeks. >> mary snow, let's see what happens. thank you. mile generals of tax returns potentially in danger if the country goes over the so-called
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wise spread criticism forced susan rice to withdraw her name from the next secretary of state. now there are questions about president obama's possible choice for secretary of defense. our pentagon correspondent barbara starr is joining us. give us some background. >> the rumored frontrunner is out there, former republican chuck hagel. but the nomination hasn't been made so the question is, is hagel going to face the same fate as susan rice? former republican senator chuck hagel is rumored to be president obama's pick as the next defense
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secretary. but even with no announcement yet, hagel's opponents are taking aim against this decorated vietnam veteran. >> for secretary of defense, chuck hagel is not a responsible option. >> reporter:. >> they object to his hid dell east use. suppo supporters say much of the opposition centers on a 2007 interview hagel gave to aaron david miller where he said, quote, the jewish lobby intimidates lawmakers. miller says while it may have been a poor word choice -- >> that doesn't mean that he's an enemy. those charges are really, really, really off the mark. >> some of the other criticisms -- >> hagel voted against labeling
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iran's revolutionary guard a terrorist group. >> a fact sheet says the then senator voted against the resolution, in part, because it had little impact. >> president obama says he supports sankss on iran. hagel voted against them. >> supporters say he favors some sanctions and believes iran sponsors some terrorism. mill >> it's not senator hagel who decides whether there will be discussions with hamas or whoever. it, president obama. >> with no official nomination, the white house is saying little. >> we have made no personal announcements and i'm not going to engage in that. what i can tell you is that senator hagel fought and bled for his country. >> hagel's experience is on the battlefields of vietnam shaped his views. >> the horror of it, the pain of it, the suffering from it. people just don't understand it unless they've been through it. >> and, you know, chuck hagel
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and his brother tom actually served together in vietnam on the battlefield and saved each other's lives under combat fire. to this day, senator hagel carries shrapnel from vietnam in his chest. this is a man who was a very tough warrior on the battlefield and many will tell you very tough on the battlefields of washington. wolf? >> barbara, thanks for that report. let's see what the president of the united states decides whether or not to go forward and nominate chuck hagel to be the next secretary of defense succeeding leon panetta. a showdown over the fiscal cliff is only a few days away and millions of tax returns are potentially on the line. cnn's tom foreman is joining us with a little more explanation. explain, tom. >> wolf, as you know, as these negotiations go on, everyone says, here comes the cliff. here comes the cliff. it's not a sudden effect because it doesn't happen at once but it does happen and some people will
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feel it absolutely more than others. there are mandatory cuts that will kick in and hit many different departments. so for example, if you are unemployed right now, benefits will stop for 2.1 million unemployed americans if we go over the cliff and just to the point of reference here, if, in fact, they wanted to extend those benefits, that would cost about $30 billion which is not a whole lot in the federal budget. this is a group that would feel the cliff and feel it fast. what about people traveling out there in the transportation departme department? $1 billion of cuts in the transportation department. slower travel and higher fares because fewer security officers out there and kas that happens, they are going to have to have more overtime from the people who are there. that's what is going to run the costs up. that could also have an impact.
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here's the one that will touch everyone in the country. go to the treasury department. 100 million taxpayers will be unable to file until late march because they would not have many people as they would normally have to process your tax returns. you know what's coming next? that also means a delay in tax refund. the treasury department normally sends out about $72 million in tax refund in january and february. that would not happen if the fiscal cliff comes. they wouldn't be able to keep up with the workload and there had would be unexpected higher taxes for most americans. remember, that's another part of the equation here, wolf. so many different groups could be hit in many different ways at many times but the bottom line is, if these negotiations continue to stall and don't come through and the cliff comes, people will, indeed, feel it all over this country. >> wolf, they certainly will. let's see if lawmakers can get their act together. by no means no deal yet.
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gun control is certainly in the spotlight with the tragedy in newtown, connecticut. cnn's owns piers morgan says it's a crucial moment right now, the time to talk about guns. >> how many bullets can can an ar-15 fire in one second? do you know? >> i think your estimate is high. >> it's not. >> four or five. >> i've spoken to many experts today. it could fire four to five bullets until a second and wipe out 100 in a minute. that could wipe out children within seconds. frlz ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ trees will talk to networks will talk to scientists about climate change. cars will talk to road sensors will talk to stoplights about traffic efficiency. the ambulance will talk to patient records
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. the season's first blizzard is making a major impact. lisa sylvester has that information in the situation room. lisa? >> four states are under blizzard warnings, including wisconsin who faces this kind of snow and wind. another foot of wet, heavy snow is expected to fall. in iowa, snow is blamed for this pileup on i-35 that left two
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people dead. almost 40,000 people are without power in nebraska. and you can see and hear part of the reason why. yeah, you can see those electricity lines. if i asked you which state had the fastest growing population in the u.s., would you gres correctly, north dakota? if your answer is yes, you would be right. new estimates of state population changes from july 2011 to july 2012, north dakota showed a boost of more than 2% while texas gained the most people, more than 400,000. one of the most popular cars on the road is getting slammed in a new crash test. the toyota camry took home a rating of poor. in this new test, you can see the car travels at 40 miles an hour striking a barrier with a
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small part of the driver's side front bumper. toyota will respond to the challenge as they design new vehicles. people have a lot of interest in that story. >> lots. thank you very much, lisa, for that. they were normal kids, normal educators, a girl who helped nervous kindergartners going to school for the first time. a student who loved the kids so much she called them "her kids." up next, who they were before the world knew them. hmm, it says here that cheerios helps lower cholesterol as part of a heart healthy diet.
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a tragically familiar scene repeated in newtown, connecticut. mourners watching the hearse
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carrying those that were laid to rest, as well as the first victim, nancy lanza. but the victims shouldn't be remembered by moments like these. we want to honor the lives that they live. here is cnn's anderson cooper. >> daniel barden was just 7 but was called the spark of his family, always smiling. had he two front teeth missing which his parents say he earned in his fearless pursuit of fun and happiness. daniel's dad is a musician and daniel followed his lead by forming a mini band and playing the drums. he was an affectionate boy. in an interview with katie couric, his dad, mark, remembers teaching daniel how to play jingle bells on the piano last friday morning. >> we held hands on the way to
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the bus. and that was our last morning together. he did get up early that morning and ran down the driveway so he could kiss his brother good-bye in his pajamas. it was 22 degrees. he was special. >> in his obituary, his family says that daniel was a constant source of laughter and joy. he embodied everything that was wholesome and innocent in the world. charlotte bacon was 6 years old. she had a big personality. her family says she was anything but shy. instead, she was smart, precocious, outgoing. she loved to talk. she could carry on long conversations, they say, with just about anyone. kids, adults, it didn't matter. she never met an animal she didn't love and had talked about becoming a veterinarian ever since she was 2 years old. charlotte was extraordinarily gifted and loved going to school
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to learn. she also loved her weekly tae kwon do classes where she relished kicking and throwing punches. she wanted to wear her new pink dress to school. pink. that was her favorite color. charlotte's grandmother describes that morning. >> charlotte loves dresses and insisted on wearing this dress. so my daughter said, okay, and she got her dress on and she had red, natural curly hair and so my daughter braided it for her and put her hair in pigtails and she wore white boots and my daughter said she looked just adorable, mom. she said, now i look back and she said, i think of charlotte dressed like that and she was getting ready to go see jesus in her new dress. >> her family writes, her family will forever remember her beautiful smile, her energy for life. charlotte has left a place in her extended family's hearts that will never be replaced. with her big brown eyes,
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6-year-old caroline previdi was remembered as boo from monsters inc. her family called her silly caroline because of the way that she loved to make people smile. she loved to draw and dance. she was in the first grade and neighbors remember her sitting next to a nervous kindergarten boy going to school for the first time. she wanted to make sure that he wasn't scared. her family says that her smile brought happiness to everyone she touched. for vicky soto, teaching was a passion and a lifelong dream. she was 27 years old. she loved every minute of it. her mom says vicki loved her students more than life, always referring to them as her kids instead of her students. she wanted to be known not only as a good teacher but as a fun teacher. her students loved her. many said she was her favorite
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teacher. on friday, vicki died a hero. she herded her into the closet. >> she just loved her kids and tried to talk about them all the time with such fondness and caring and she just adored them and i have no doubt in my mind she did everything she could to protect every single one of them. >> vicki was equally passionate about her own family. she was the ring leader who organized christmas every year. she loved the beach and flamingos and new york yankees. they write, vicki was truly an amazing teacher, cousin, sister, and friend and died protecting her kids. we couldn't be prouder of our hero. her beloved dog roxy still waits every day for her to come home from school. cnn, anderson cooper, newtown. uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress.
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capitol hill today after a scathing independent report faulting the u.s. consulate for the deadly attack in benghazi. senator john kerry seems to praise her response. >> the report makes 29 recommendations in total, five of which are classified. secretary clinton has embraced every single one of them. i think the secretary's swift action underscores how determined she is to apply the lessons of benghazi. >> joining us now is our chief correspondent and anchor of "the state of the union," candy
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crowley. do you think she's going to be tarnished because of this benghazi report? >> we do. we know he she is going to test in january. that independent review was scathing. it didn't mention names but it talked about the lack of leadership on a bunch of issues at the state department. well, who's the leader at the state department? it certainly is not good for her reputation. certainly i think it can't help but tarnish it a bit. >> and she's ill. that's why she didn't appear herself. >> right. >> she has a severe case of the flu. she fainted, suffered a concussion. hopefully she'll be back and testify sometime mid-january. let's talk about something he will that's happening on capitol hill. great represent being paid to the hawaii senator daniel inouye. he just passed away, as you
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know. 50 years up on capitol hill. you hired con grigress for a lo time. >> a quiet guy, unassuming guy with the most amazing background. as you know, japanese-american. i spoke with him many, many times. he talked about being a teenage japanese-american in hawaii on pearl harbor day and his anger when he looked up and saw the japanese insignia on it. he joined japanese-american combat unit, asked the government to go to war. that's where he lost his arm. he got a medal of honor. he comes back to the united states, they ask him where he wants to go for rehab. he picks a place in michigan and he meets up with bob dole. the two of them nowhere near politics. both of them so wounded and talked all the time in that hospital about what they would do in the future. both wanted to be doctors but
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both so harmed that being a doctor was, at that point, just completely out of the question. they had to come up with other careers and i talked with both of them about their relationship a while back and they describe that time in the hospital. take a listen. >> i used to watch him play bridge. he was the best bridge player in the hospital. we sat around and talked about what we were going to do with the rest of our life. i said, bob, what are you going to be doing? and one thing about bob dole, he had had his life mapped out. really mapped out. he says, well, when i get back, i'll be a county attorney. then i'll be in the legislature. the first opening of congress, that's where i'll go. i said, gee, that's a good idea. >> inouye actually beat dole and said, i'm here in the congress,
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where are you? dole joined him and later were both world war ii heroes. this is a generation that we're losing at such a rapid pace. good stories, opposite party. senator inouye has been senator since hawaii became a state. a lot of history there. >> anyone who says a bad word about senator inouye. >> i know. it's awfully hard to. bob dole was saluting his old friend, senator inouye. senator dole right there. thank you, candy. >> piers morgan is one never to hold back. he's outraged over gun rights in the united states. piers will join us live. that's next. let's say you want to get ahead in your career.
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when the shooter forced his way into the sandy hook elementary school last friday, he was carrying two handguns and
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a semiautomatic rifle, the ar-15. piers morgan hosted a special debate on guns in america last night and he focused in on the kind of damage that that firearm can do. >> what is the purpose of an ar-15? >> it's like a hunting rifle that cosmetically on the outside looks like a military weapon. but, look -- >> how many bullets can it fire a second? how many bullets can it fire a second? answer my question. >> no, i'm answering your first question. >> answer this question. no. wait. you will not downgrade what these weapons do. >> you wouldn't let me finish -- >> answer the simple question. how many bullets does the ar-15 fire a second? >> the point -- >> it's been used in your last three mass shootings. answer the question. >> you never let me finish. >> do you want to answer or not? >> i'm going to answer your first question and then i'll answer your last question. the first question, the reason you have a semiautomatic weapon is, because take the
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alternative, if i were to have a bolt action rifle where i have to manually load it and let's say i have two criminals coming at me, i can fire one bullet and then it takes a second to fire the other one. it may be too late. what happens if i fire a shot and miss. >> how many bullets does it fire a second? >> the point is -- >> can you answer the question or not? >> you will lose lives. people need to be able to protect themselves. the police can't be there all the time. if you want to fire a bolt action -- >> very simple question. how many bullets can the ar-15 fire in one second? do you know? >> i think your estimate is four or five. >> actually, i've spoken to many experts today. it can fire four to five bullets a second and fire 100 in a minute. that can wipe out, as we saw, 20 children in a matter of two minutes. >> it's a character of all semiautomatic weapons.
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>> you want people to think that they are harmless old hunting rifles and -- >> piers is joining us now live. tell our viewers, piers, why you are personally so outraged about what is going on here in the united states. >> well, partly it's because i'm british. i'm not from america. we come from a very different culture in my country. we had a very similar thing to what happened in sandy hook in 1996. i was an editor of a newspaper at the time. children 5 years old got kill bid a maniac. and there have been no mass shootings like that since, and no attacks at all in a school. i have been completely baffled by what happens here in the aftermath of endless mass shootings. when i first started at cnn two years ago, it was a week after
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gaby giffords was shot and many others lost their lives. since then, we had the sheik temple shood shooting, and so on leading up to sandy hook. there's a lot of words, talk and absolutely nothing gets done. and the last three mass shootings, i just realized a few days ago, aurora, the oregon shopping mall, and now sandy hook all involve young men in their early 20s all with the same weapon, ar-15. now, my brother is a british army colonel, i know a bit about guns, an ar-15 is not a harmless hunting rifle as some of these gun guys want to put it. it's a very high-powered assault weapon. it's a military weapon and it can fire if you have the right magazines and right capability with it and you can modify them any way you like. it can fire four to six bullets a second or 100 in a minute. now, imagine, this character adam lanza that went up to sandy hook. he had enough magazines and bullets to wipe out the entire
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school. if he hadn't killed himself, he could've done that. we could've looking at 600 children killed in a few minutes with these weapons. nobody can explain to me why these weapons are available to civilians. it makes no sense. >> well, and give us some comparison. because the numbers are pretty shocking. the number of gun deaths in the united states compared to any other industrialized country in the world. >> it is scary. and i don't know why more americans are not as terrified about these statistics as i am. this is not about the second amendment. not about the right to bear arms. i have no issue with an american who wants to defend his family or her family by having a pistol or handgun at home. i respect that, i believe that's what the founding fathers intended. but look at britain, our average gun murder rate is about 35 people a year. in america, it averages between 9,000 and 11,000 people murdered by guns. you could add tens of thousands
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more who die in gun-related incidents like suicides and other forms of death. 100,000 americans a year are hit by gunfire and are either killed or wounded. and it has to stop. this is an endless slaughter. but you can't get rid of all of the guns, wolf, there are 300 million of them in america. i don't think it's feasible, it's not realistic. the last three mass shootings, the same weapon with these magazines in aurora, 100 bullets in the magazine, the sandy hook, 30, these are weapons of mass military style slaughter. and it has to stop. >> so if the vice president joe biden called you up, piers, and says, piers, we've got a commission we're going to come up with some recommendations, what's the single most important recommendation you would give him? >> it's this. you have to wipe out the assault weapon scourge in america. this is not about all
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semiautomatic rifles. many of them are comparatively harmless. it's not about the right to hunt. when you hunt, surely the pleasure of hunting as a sport is you have one bullet and you fire it and you test your skill. not that you have 100 bullets to destroy an animal in three seconds. that's not sport, that's not hunting. i have no problem with professional shooters or hunters who want to use normal rifles, it's these assault weapons, military -- call them what they are. they're military weapons. they have to be eliminated. it is ridiculous, wolf. i can go to a cvs pharmacy and i can't buy six packets of sudefed. i can buy an assault weapon, load it illegally with 100 bullets in a magazine, walk around and if i want to kill 100 people in less than a minute. this is the stuff of madness. and the gun rights lobby that the diehard members of these, they will try to position this
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debate and i have it on twitter all day long at the moment. abusing me and threatening me and all the rest of it. i'm sure everybody else gets the same thing. and they all say you want to get rid of our guns, no, i don't. i respect your second amendment and your constitution. and by the way, as an american resident, it applies to me, as well. but i respect the lives of young children higher than anything else. and if we don't do anything in america to try and curb this particular style of mass shooting with these particular weapons and particular magazines and if we don't eliminate this farce that 40% of all gun trades in america are untraceable and have no record, you put it together and you add the fact there's so much mental health in america. 3 million people or more apparently suffering from mental health issues, you put that together with states that have been cutting back investment into exploring mental health issues and providing treatment and you add these assault
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weapons, and you add these magazines and you add the ready availability, what do people think is going to continue happening? i can tell you, more and more young children and adults and other americans are going to get slaughtered. and that is why i applaud the president for finally saying, you know, enough, there'll be four of these on his watch. four mass shootings. how many more before america says, you know what? this has to stop. >> piers, we're going to see you at 9:00 p.m. eastern. he obviously feels very, very passionate about this issue. 9:00 p.m. eastern "piers morgan tonight." ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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happening now. investigators in newtown are
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wrapping up the hunt for clues over at the killer's home. across the midwest, blizzard conditions cripple travel, plunge thousands into a frigid, powerless night. and you're going to find out why these airline seat potatoes may help you have a more convenient flight very soon. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the "situation room." all that coming up, we begin this hour with one of the leading critics of the obama administration's handling of the many crises of the middle east, north africa right now. senator john mccain has pressed especially hard for answers about the september 11th attack in benghazi, libya, that killed chris stevens and three other americans. a blistering new report calls
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the state department security preparations in benghazi. and i'm quoting now grossly inadequate on capitol hill today, department officials promised to do better as lawmakers outrage quickly turned partisan. >> from the very beginning of the benghazi events, every member of this committee has shared with the president and secretary clinton our determination to get all of the facts about what happened and why in benghazi. >> the board's report takes a clear-eyed look at serious, systemic problems. problems which are unacceptable. >> secretary clinton made clear that it was a terrorist attack is not true. >> there's a long tradition of bipartisanship in this committee. how we should be standing side by side when we're dealing with a attacks on our people
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overseas. it cheapens that to make it into some kind of gotcha game. or try to make it into some conspiracy. >> kate bolduan is here in the "situation room" with me. john mccain from capitol hill. thank you very much for coming in. >> thanks. >> are you satisfied with this report? >> well, i think it was significant and i think it was very helpful. and i have a lot of confidence in the witnesses, especially thomas pickering and bill burns. obviously we still want the secretary of state to testify. but, wolf, there are many unanswered questions ranging from the talking points and what -- why classified information was not used, which would've changed the entire narrative to what was the president and the secretary of state doing? why was the warning -- why were the warnings ignored? both before and during?
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why would dod, department of defense military capability available over a seven-hour period? there's a long list of questions that need to be answered. so i still think we need an independent commission. but i -- but i appreciate the testimony today. >> an independent commission beyond this report that ambassador pickering and admiral mullen helped put together. what specifically do you want to hear from the secretary of state hillary clinton when she testifies supposedly mid-january some time? >> well, among other things, what did she know about these warnings? these constant warnings that she received as late as august 16th where they stated unequivocally that in the case of attack that the consulate was not defensible. what actions were taken? what did she know about it? why is it that ambassador stevens' last message before he was killed was his concerns about security? why was there so few people there?
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there are so many, as i say, so many questions, and ranging from before, during, and after, including this whole business of giving the american people information, the president of the united states as late as september 25th before the u.n. where he talked about hateful videos. why did the president of the united states say in his debate with romney that he had called it a terrorist attack on september 12th when now we know that that very day he gave an interview with cbs which we didn't find out until after the election that he said he didn't know whether it was a terrorist attack or not. there's a whole bunch of -- and why would secretary -- ambassador rice say that al qaeda is decimated? we know al qaeda wasn't decimated. why is it that she would say that the security of the consulates and embassies were as good when we all know now that they are clearly not.
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>> i'm going to move on to other subjects, senator, but the ambassador susan rice is not going to be the next secretary of state, four state department officials have resigned in the aftermath of this report. that was released this week, is that enough? should more heads roll? >> well, again, we want to know what the president and the secretary of state knew, what did they -- where was the president during the seven hours? where was the secretary of state during the seven hours? we've had plenty of views of them watching the raid that took out bin laden, what were their actions during this period of time, as well? so, of course, supposedly, the buck stops at the president's desk. >> senator, i want to turn to this movie "zero dark thirty." you've written a letter to the studio along with senator feinstein saying the movie is grossly inaccurate in the depiction in the hunt for osama bin laden. why come out so forcefully against a movie?
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>> well, several reasons, kate. one is obviously movies particularly very highly credentialed producers, directors, and cast does have an effect on public opinion. and not only in the united states but around the world. first of all, the brutality depicted there is very disturbing. but the thing that we, senator levin and senator feinstein and i have focused on is that you believe when watching this movie that waterboarding and torture leads to information that leads then to the elimination of osama bin laden. that's not the case. in fact, when ksm was waterboarded, he gave information that was false about the courier, the guy that eventually led to osama bin laden. said he had retired. the moral of the story is that a torture does not work, it is hateful, it is harmful, incredibly harmful to the united
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states of america and to somehow make people believe that it was responsible for the elimination of osama bin laden is in my view unacceptable. >> was none of that so-called enhancement interrogation techniques that was used on khalid sheikh mohammed resulted in the killing of bin laden? >> it did not, and that's what this study, that intensive study that the intelligence committee just completed thousands of pages and a yearlong study indicate clearly that they found out about the courier from an outside source that was outside the country. there is no information whatsoever that shows that. in fact, there's information that they misled the interrogators while this violation of the geneva conventions torturing people was going on. and they -- again, moral of the
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story is, if you inflict enough pain on someone, they will tell you anything they think that will make the pain stop. and that's what was happening in these interrogations, and it did not lead to eliminating osama bin laden, which a goal we all shared. and to tell the american people it did, i think, is really harmful. >> let me button it up with this, senator. with so many problems and issues on the plate of the senate right now, the attack on benghazi as we were just talking -- the consulate in benghazi, the fiscal cliff, what to do with syria just to name a few, why is it important? with so much else going on in the world to take on this issue? when we know it's -- when they stay it's a fictional movie? >> well, first of all, kate, i've been involved in this issue for a long time as you know. the senate voted 93-3 that this thing was unacceptable and not to mention the geneva
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conventions for treatment of detainees which we are a signatory too. i think it goes to what america is all about. do we really want to do things which are inhumane and basically immoral, in other words, torturing people. do we want to do that? and what is the impact of our image in the world when we do do that? we are in a vast long twilight i ideological struggle with the forces of islam. and this gives them all kinds of ammunition when they have a movie shows we are torturing people. you see my point? >> we see your point. certainly do, senator. let's talk about chuck hagel the former republican senator from nebraska. man you know, you served with him. if the president nominates him to succeed leon panetta as the secretary of defense, will you vote to confirm him? >> i want to give him the opportunity if he's nominated to
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testify. he'll pay visits to people, before the armed services committee, which i'm a member, as you know. but i do believe that with any nomination that we will exercise our responsibilities of advise and consent. as you know, chuck hagel and i had some differences over the years. for example, over the surge, which he said would be the worst mistake since the vietnam war and obviously it was successful. but, i think we need to look at his record and exercise our responsibilities. i don't think we'll be pre-judging. >> let's turn to the fiscal cliff, senator. this plan "b" they're voting on in the house this evening. if it passes the house, will you support it in the senate? >> well, i think it's a good proposal. i think that it is now going to -- what their intention is to put the ball into the senate's court. what i'm still hoping is that
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i'm really praying, sexually, because of the consequences of not only the cliff, but sequestration is that maybe the president calls the individuals and leaders down to the white house and sit down and say, look, let's get this settled. i think it's really important that at least he do that. i think if he said, look, we're not going to leave this oval office until -- until we have an agreement, i don't think they've made enough of that effort. >> one final question before i let you go, senator. will you support that assault weapons ban that senator feinstein and the president are now proposing? >> i want a commission that such as senator liberman has proposed where we can look at every aspect of this terrible tragedy. i believe that american people want us to act. i think we're ready to act. but, you know, there are cases in norway, they have very tough gun control as you know. and yet, a person was able to go out and kill, slaughter a
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massac massacre, a tragic situation. we've got to look at the entirety rather than just say we're going to rifle shot it. and i'll be glad to consider anything, but i'd like to see a commission of people we respect and admire and their recommendations before i would support most any measure. >> senator mccain, thanks very much for joining us. >> thank you, senator. >> good to be with you. up next, we're going to have the latest on the connecticut shooting investigation. it is now moving into a new phase. standby. [ male announcer ] with free package pickup from the u.s. postal service the holidays are easy. visit usps.com. pay, print, and have it picked up for free before december 20h for delivery in time for the holidays. you can even give us special instructions on where to find it. free package pickup. from the u.s. postal service. because it's nice to have an extra pair of hands around for the holidays.
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but you can have your own personal assistant. i guess you could call it todd. [ male announcer ] the new nokia lumia 920 with live tiles that deliver what you want in real time. only from at&t. rethink possible. now to the newtown, connecticut, shooting investigation. investigators say they're done for now after spending days combing through the house the gunman shared with his mother and where he killed her before setting off on his rampage at the local elementary school. cnn's national correspondent joining us now with the investigation. what's going on? >> reporter: we can tell you, wolf, there was probably one of
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the largest sort of presence of detectives from the major crime squad here today. we spoke to the lieutenant who is in charge of speaking on behalf of the police. he said that they are done for now. they still have the house, it is still a crime scene, they can go back to it any time they want. but right now they are done searching through it. they've gathered evidence, gathered what they need. th they're going to be looking through that. what they will do is return to the home. but for now, we're being told that they are done for now as far as processing the home and processing the crime scene. took them about 3 1/2 days, but they were able to do it and working very aggressively, especially because the computer was smashed, the harddrive badly damaged. so they've got to create a very full picture. it appears they're done, at least for the time being, wolf. >> and so the next -- the next situation, the next process as far as the investigation is concerned, what are they trying to do?
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deal with some of the question, why would someone do this? >> reporter: yeah, a couple of things, exactly, first of all, thattive got to process the toxicology reports, they took hair and blood and saliva samples from adam lanza, they're going to process that to see if he was on any medications, whether they were prescribed or illegal. it's going to be several months before we get any sort of report on this. one thing we want to say is that the gunman's mom was laid to rest today, there was no fanfare, it was very quiet, she was buried at an undisclosed location, her son was not with her. not clear whether his body has been released yet or whether they're keeping it to do more tests as the need arises. but we do know that she was buried. a private service, according to police chief in new hampshire only for family, wolf. >> thanks very much for that update. back here in washington, the house of representatives is getting set to vote on extending tax cuts for most americans, those making under $1 million. we're talking about the fiscal
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cliff. but president obama's made it clear, the republicans' plan "b," is nothing more than veto bait. let's get more on the back and forth and where things stand today with our senior congressional correspondent dana bash who is on capitol hill with more. dana, i know there has been some question even if house republicans had the votes to pass this. >> that's right. and i think if you look on the house floor right now, you'll see that there is a vote. it's not the vote, but there's a vote going on. that's a key time for members of the leadership to twist arms and i'm told that's exactly what has happened now. we're just two hours away from that plan "b" vote and republicans aren't entirely sure they have the votes to pass it. it's just one example of how things are moving very fast today but at the same time, things are stalled. >> the fiscal cliff impasse is so surreal, democrats are resorting to movie analogies, calling republicans thelma and
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louise. >> rather than face the reality of what lies ahead, they hit the gas. that's what we're hearing from speaker boehner now. >> don't blame us, say republicans, it's the president. >> he's doing everything within his power to take us over the cliff. and -- and he is set on dividing us. >> adding to the sense that congress is an alternate universe instead of negotiating to avert the fiscal cliff, the house will vote tonight on the gop plan "b." a bill to keep tax cuts in place for households making less than $1 million. senate democrats call it dead on arrival. >> house republicans know that the bill has no future. if they don't know it now, tell them what i said. >> senate majority leader harry reid just had a press conference saying house republicans know this bill has no future. if they don't know, tell them what i said. >> i talked to senator reid this morning. >> well, what can you -- >> he was more polite that than. i am not convinced at all that when the bill passes the house today that it will die in the
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senate. >> democrats say the house speaker is in denial. the truth is, the speaker is well aware of political reality. if the country careens off the fiscal cliff in 12 days and every american's taxes go up, republicans will take much of the heat. that's a key reason he's holding tonight's vote. >> our bill will protect 99.81% of the american people from an increase in taxes. >> reporter: a republican lawmaker who is familiar with the strategy here among house republicans says another reason why they're taking this vote is to make sure that republicans get on record and even to tell republicans internally inside their own caucus that they need to see what the reality is and the reality is as you just heard from the democrats in that piece that they are not likely to take this up even if it does pass, which is going to be very tight. and so the question is, what's going to happen next? and i can tell you, there is a lot of uncertainty here tonight about what does happen next. >> absolutely. and, of course, the question of
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with this vote, does it loosen up negotiations once again? or will it be even more stalled or in peril in terms of negotiations going forward? but we'll wait, watch, and see together. thanks so much. we'll talk to you soon. washington's full of tough talk right now about cutting our trillion dollar deficit every year by closing loopholes, capping tax deductions. tonight we're going to get specific. you're going to see who may get hit and the serious consequences. >> from -- from the arts, from hospitals, to universities, to emergency rooms, some of these charitable institutions would be on the verge of collapse.
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members of congress set their differences aside today to honor a legend. kate's here with more on that. more of some of the other top stories. >> yeah. quite an honor, turnout today, wolf. law makers gathered around the casket of daniel inouye, his body is lying in state in the capitol rotunda. he was the second longest serving republican senator in history and a world war ii hero. vice president biden remembered in inouye as a quintessential american. >> no one, no one in the 40 years i served with danny, ever, ever, ever once doubted he would do what he said. never once doubted his word. never once wondered whether or not he'd keep whatever commitment he made. that -- that is the most
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valuable capital any man or woman who has ever served in this place can possess. >> another former senator and war hero bob dole saluted his former colleague. daniel inouye died on monday, he was 88 years old. and this news just coming in to cnn, the brother of bernard madoff is sentenced to ten years in prison for helping cover up the most notorious ponzi scheme in history. peter madoff pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and falsifying investment records. he says he is, quote, deeply ashamed. bernard madoff is currently serving a 150-year sentence in a north carolina federal prison. and thousands of people have no power in the wake of strong storms that tore through parts of mobile, alabama, in the wee hours this morning, officials have no reports of serious injuries from the storm, thankfully, but it was strong enough to peel roofs from buildings, topple trucks and
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trees and flip cars at a mercedes dealership. look at those pictures. and the national hockey league says, unfortunately, it's canceling its regular season schedule through mid january. nhl officials say cancellation of more than half of the 2012-2013 season is necessary because there is still no contract in place between the league and the players union. in all, 625 games almost 51% of the season will have gone unplayed through january 14th. so sorry, hockey fans. >> love hockey. too bad about that part. thank you. reports say president obama could pick a former u.s. senator who is a republican as his next defense secretary. so why does the backlash against him seem to be growing? [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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revive rejuvenate rebuild rebuild rebuild happening now, americans from coast to coast reach out to people of newtown, connecticut. they're crafting tributes to the
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victims. also, tough talk about closing tax loopholes and capping deductions. how could that turn into a devastating blow to some of your favorite charities? plus, how an airliner full of potatoes may make your next trip more convenient and maybe a little more productive. all that coming up. but first, former senator chuck hagel of nebraska is thought to be president obama's top choice to be the nation's next secretary of defense succeeding leon panetta. but he may end up becoming the next susan rice. she ultimately withdrew from consideration. when it became clear her nomination would provoke a fight on capitol hill. kate, that fight would have been intense. >> it would have been intense. and we're joined now to talk about this and much more by former bush white house press secretary as well as hilary
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rosen. >> let me start with you, why is chuck hagel all of a sudden so controversial? >> because he'd be a disaster as secretary of defense because of the things he's said and positions he's taken. for example, he's voted against sanctions for iran, he's called instead for unconditional talks with iran. contrary to the obama position, he's even said a military strike against iran should be flat out ruled out. he says it's not an option, it's not feasible. shouldn't it be considered? so i don't know why there'd be even talk he should be appointed and it's worse than that, wolf, he's also called for talks, direct talks with hamas, the terrorist organization, and finally, during the second when president clinton was in office in october of 2000, he was one of only four senators who refused to write a letter in support of israel. so he's a problematic choice for all issues in which the american people are unified about our approach to the middle east. he's outside the mainstream on
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both of those issues. >> i'm sure some republicans share his views, the president already lost one fight looking at susan rice, is he going to lose another fight when it comes to chuck hagel now? >> first of all, there's no way that senators are going to vote him down. this is a litany of republican talking attacking points. it's amazing how they grab defeat from the jaws of victory. they're about to get a republican secretary of defense. you know, along -- look at what bill cohen did and former secretary of defense who was a former gop senator from maine. look at how he brought people together in the clinton administration, made a big difference overseas, brought allies on the hill together. that's the vein he's in, and secretary cohen today said that chuck hagel would be a great secretary of defense. >> so if nominated, you think he'll -- >> i think he's going to win this. scare tactics by people making up stuff to somehow suggest that chuck hagel would be anti-israel when president obama makes the policy, that's just nonsense.
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>> you know, bob gates was a republican too and he served as secretary of defense, ari. i just interviewed -- we interviewed john mccain here and he said he's going to wait and see if he's nominated, he'll give him a shot see what he has to say during the confirmation process. but what you're saying is he's totally unacceptable even though i interviewed him myself. he's a very, very smart guy. >> wolf, i'm rising above party. to me this isn't the question of what party does somebody belong to? if president obama wants to appoint a democrat that's fine. but he should appoint somebody with a good record. i'm making nothing up. you know, hilary didn't refute anything i said. every fact i stated was chuck hagel's record. and it's a record that democrats raised when chuck hagel was thinking of running for president, i got all those facts, many of them from a democratic organization that decided why hagel wasn't even qualified to run for president. so my position -- hold on, hilary, my opposition is
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principled and based on the things that senator hagel has voted for and the troubling things he has said. >> he has said repeatedly that his comments on iran sanctions are taken out of context, that's fact. that president obama's policy running the -- running the defense department. look, there are a lot of things that chuck hagel votes that chuck hagel has taken or that other members of congress have taken that i don't like, i don't like his original position on don't ask, don't tell, for instance, when he supported it. but president obama repealed that. he made the decision. i'm confident any secretary of defense is going to go with the positions of the president. >> you know, hilary, he also voted against the confirmation of a u.s. ambassador to l-- and he made a statement at that time. this goes back 20 years that the united states should not send ambassadors around the world who represent that lifestyle. >> he did. and i don't -- i don't like what he said. but i think people can evolve.
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and i trust this president that when he appoints somebody, he is -- he is following the policy of the president and those are the rules. and i just think we have to assume that's where chuck hagel's going to be when he speaks himself if he's nominated to the senate. i'm confident he's going to straighten all of this out. >> and ari -- >> it raises the question, why would president obama nominate somebody whose positions are so far outside what the president's positions are? because you don't want to set up that type of internal clash between a secretary of defense -- >> you're nitpicks, that's why. >> and you don't want to have somebody that indicates the president's changing his tune. that's why it's a questionable judgment, it raises a whole series of questions i don't think the president needs to have right now. >> you're nitpicking, don't ask, don't tell has been repealed, that's not an issue right now. >> it is an esch. >> i know what i'm saying, when you talk about a single quote about something he might have said about the israel lobby years ago and concerns that he might not be pro-israel enough
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or tough enough, we're talking about positions of years ago. we don't need to nitpick another nominee just so you guys can try and undermine the president again. that's not going to happen. >> he is on the president's foreign intelligence advisory board right now, has been a supporter of president obama, endorsed him in 2008, endorsed him once again in 2012. >> not yet nominated. not yet nominated. >> we'll see if the president goes ahead and nominates him, has a fight in the senate, i suspect both senators will vote to confirm him if, in fact, there is that fight. we'll see what happens. >> we'll see. >> thanks very much, hilary, thanks to you, as well. >> thank you, wolf. if washington can't come to terms on fiscal cliff negotiations, nonprofits could see a lot less good will, automatic measures would include limits on deductions for charitable giving. lisa sylvester with more on this. what would happen if there's no agreement, lisa? >> well, i can tell you, wolf, nonprofits, charity groups, universities, hospitals, they are all watching very closely
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the fiscal cliff debate. because their bottom line could be directly affected. >> reporter: earl looks for art for inspiration, this painting speaks to him. >> it says think. and look. and observe what's around you. >> mack, a former ambassador to finland and a multimillionaire several times over, he says he sees the world as a place for doing good. after the earthquake in haiti, he chartered two planes and brought in a team of doctors and medical supplies on his own. >> i felt a passion that all these people dying and haven't gotten any medical help just lying there, bleeding to death, getting sick, getting infected. i don't know. i can't tell you anything more than that, i just did it. just woke up one day and did it. >> reporter: mack has donated millions over the various years
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to various causes. he's been a patron of arts, theaters, and museums. he made his fortune in real estate development and investment. he's part of that 1%, the wealthiest americans who make the most but also donate the most. now mack is worried for the institutions he has long supported because of the fiscal cliff. >> we ask the wealthiest americans to pay a slightly higher tax rate. >> as congress debates how to close the budget gap. >> closing loopholes, especially on those who are wealthy is a better way to raise this revenue other than raising rates. >> one proposal that keeps coming up, cap charitable deductions. >> who do you think will be hurt the most if congress changes the current charitable deduction. >> if giving is hurt, all of these programs -- so from the arts, from hospitals, to universities. to emergency rooms. are on the verge of collapse. >> mack says its large
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individual donations that help keep nonprofit hospitals open and fund college scholarship endowments, reduce the incentive to give, and giving will slow down hurting programs across the country. mack is not the only one worried. >> a 1% decline would result in a loss of $300 million a year. to colleges and universities. that's 300,000 student scholarships that would be lost. >> $10 million giver could be disincentivized. >> earle mack says he will continue to donate, deduction or no deduction, but knows many others who will not. >> if we were all angels, we'd be up in heaven and i wouldn't be sitting here. >> and the real concern is that congress could create a disincentive for people to give to charities at the same time it's cutting government spending and services.
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normally it's the private social agencies that fill in the gap, for example, if unemployment benefits are cut, but if some of these changes go through, well, those nonprofits may have a harder time serving those in need. wolf and kate? >> lisa, thank you. still ahead in the wake of the connecticut shooting, parents are looking for ways to make their children keep their children safe. could bulletproof backpacks be one of the answers? so, the 5.3-liter v8 silverado can tow up to 9,600 pounds? 315 horsepower. what's that in reindeer-power? [ laughs ] [ pencil scratches ] [ male announcer ] chevy's giving more. get the best offer of the year -- 0% apr financing for 60 months plus $1,000 holiday bonus cash. plus trade up for an additional $1,000 trade-in allowance.
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after the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, cnn's miguel marquez finds parents are looking for anything to keep their kids safe. >> reporter: it is a disturbing sign of the times. >> you guys make inserts for
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children's backpacks? >> that's correct. >> bullet-resistant inserts. >> that's correct. >> this is one of them? >> yeah. >> show us how they work. >> this is our military-grade product. >> rich brand says in the last week, sales have jumped 500% and they're still climbing. desperate parents seeking ways to protect their kids in the most extreme situations. the material will not stop high-velocity rounds like the ones used in newtown, but three shots with a .9 millimeter at point-blank raing. >> all the kinetic energy and penetration was absorbed with our armor. >> three small holes, the armor's a little stiffer. and the rounds are inside here? >> that's correct. >> reporter: and amendment two is not alone. bullet blocker promises your peace of mind is our business.
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bulletproofme.com says sales are up 50%. new customers, schools and day care facilities. even the colombian designer of fashionable protective clothing has a request for bullet-resistant garments for a toddler. >> people say you're profits off of terror and horror. >> and that's the last thing we wanted to do. this was something that we put out there at the request of parents, trying to meet the needs. >> amendment two says it's proprietary. lends itself to a product some teachers have asked for, a protective blanket. >> because of the lightweight nature of the material that the company uses, they say it could be used as a mat in a school, for instance, and in an emergency for protection. >> at salt lake city's get some guns and ammo owner says protective gear won't stop a killer, only another gun will. >> if you knew every teacher in the school had a gun, i think you would think differently about your little plan. >> since 1995, utah has allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons. the law is yet to be tested.
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but after newtown, anything seems possible. miguel marquez, cnn, salt lake city. >> certainly a sign of the times. wow, what a sign of the times it is. erin burnett "outfront" begins at the top of the hour. tonight, looking at the mental health angle of the tragedy in newtown, connecticut. give our viewers a preview. what are you looking at? >> we'll continue to focus on the mental health angle. and specifically, we have a man studying the brains of people who have killed other people in horrific acts for 20 years. and he actually has a scan. i'll show you two brains here. and you guys can see one brain versus another. the one that has more of the blue on it, that is the brain of a psychopath. and that is something you can tell when you look at a brain, it is also something that you can tell when you look at the genetic profile of somebody. but what's very interesting, even though a lot of psychopaths or killers have brains like that, the brain you're looking at there is actually the brain of our guest.
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his name is dr. james fallon, he's the guy studying these killers. he's going to explain what that scan tells you and what we can learn about adam lanza. plus, breaking developments at the top of the hour on new information we're just learning about the alleged shooter adam lanza and what he -- what he may have wanted to do just a few years ago in regards to the u.s. military. we have that story coming up at the top of the hour. back to you. >> very interesting. we'll see you at the top of the hour. >> we will. so it's what some flyers want. but many dread being able to use them on flights not just airplane mode. how one company is testing the technology next. hey, look! a shooting star!
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"outfront." many of us like to use our computers on flight. wait until you hear how these tests are being conducted. and you have discovered how these tests are being conducted. >> how bizarre are they! aircraft engineers needed something to fill in for humans while they developed a test for wireless equipment. and strangely enough, they found their solution in the produce aisle. potatoes, 20,000 pounds of them, in fact, were piled into the seats of this decommissioned plane in arizona. >> potatoes, it turns out, have properties that are similar to humans in the way they interact with those radio frequency waves and they were quite cheap. and so, they stayed still and worked out that you could with sacks of potatoes, build semihuman forms in the seats. >> the goals for engineers was
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to design a better way to test wireless signals likewise five in aircraft. >> what you want to do is design the system so that you get the best signal coverage throughout the airplane. >> this graphic shows the wireless signal strength inside a lab. the benefit of this potato project cutting down their testing time from weeks to just hours. >> it's not only just wi-fi that we can use that test technique for. it is other technologies, cell phones, blue tooth, head sets, anything that can transmit. >> fcc and the faa have long banned cell phone use in flight. but boeing and other manufacturers sell planes equipped with on board cell phone systems outside the u.s. emirates has let passengers talk on their phones for nearly five years. >> when we launched the service, we were surprised. people said why did it take so long? now if they get on a plane that isn't equipped, they toned complain. >> reporter: carriers around the
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world that do allow cell phone use in flight have not reported any problems. delta airlines, the only u.s. carrier to respond to the study, called for allowing in-flight texting on phones but not voice calls. citing a survey where 64% of passengers said talking on cell phones would hurt their inflight experience. whatever kind of wireless service is allowed, boeing says with the help of these spuds, it has figured out an even better way to make sure it works and is safe. after the very fine service, they were shipped off to a food bank. and the next time potatoes are loaded into a boeing jet, it will likely be part of your inflight meal. the engineer said this was a once in a lifetime career project. >> delicious french fries. >> very sweet potatoes. much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month! okay, come with me -- we're gonna save you money. with straight talk at walmart, you get unlimited talk, text and data
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final goodbyes for three more children at sandy hook elementary school as well as two teachers and a beloved principal. today dawn hochsprung was always smiling. even the youngest kids at sandy hook elementary knew their principal, cared about them. her funeral was in new york state. and lauren russeau wanted to be a teacher since she was a child. she had just handed a job as a permanent substitute teacher. and the special education teacher died doing what she loved. serving children and serving god. 6-year-old allison wyatt was quiet and shy but if someone did something funny, she would be the first to laugh.
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catherine hubbard is remembered for her bright red hair, he had constant smile, her love of sports and her compassion for animals. benjamin wheeler followed his dad around the yard helping him always with chores. his family moved to newtown just last year. >> from coast to coast, people are finding ways to honor their memories. here are just a few. >> a tribute to the schools. i have two kindergartners in school now. there are no words you can say. >> the outpouring of love in the community and throughout the world has been unbelievable. >> we need